After taking place in Rotorua, New Zealand and Les Gets, France, Crankworx brings a lot of bike-pros and action to Innsbruck. On the days from Wednesday the 21st until Saturday 24th of June the event guaranteed crazy bikers doing crazy runs and tricks in perfect weather conditions. Being held the first time in the Bike City Innsbruck, this event established a must-go date for all bikers and bike sport lovers.
The series of five contests was kicked off by the Whip-off Championships right at the Panorama lake above the Muttereralm. The temperature hit the 30°C and the crowd spread all the way around the lake and the course to get just the best view on this event. With a set-up of two jumps that remind of the pro-line at Stubai Zoo, riders were sent up in the air trying to go as sideways as possible.
The more you twist, the more points you get. Simple as that. Sadly, two riders went too far sideways and crashed. The contest was stopped for the time they were provided with first aid and transported right to the hospital of Innsbruck via helicopter. With the crowd cheering for them, more riders went over the jumps and delivered a spectacular show in front of a fantastic view. Even with their full-face helmets on, you could really feel that all of them had a lot of fun riding at this event. In the end, Louis Reboul and Casey Brown made it first in men’s and women’s category for their whips.
Thursday: Dual Speed and Style contest
With still having the huge jumps from the Whip-Off in mind, Crankworx continued with the dual speed and style contest right at the valley station of Muttereralm. In this mode, the riders have to go head-to-head on two parallel tracks with two big jumps and a lot of turns. After the first run, they switch lines so it is a fair duel. To win, each rider needs to do the best tricks in the smallest amount of time. So it’s not only style, but also speed that keeps you in the game!
Starting off with 16 riders, this contest ran 8 heats in a K.O.-system. Two runs per heat, the better rider continues. For the final pairing, after already 7 heats in, Tomas Lemoine and Martin Soderstrom stepped up their game with two amazing runs leaving the crowd astonished. In the end Lemoine went first, Soderstrom second and Sam Reynolds became third.
Chainless Friday: Pump-Track-Challenge
Third day of Crankworx, third contest. Biking without a chain on your bike? Yes! This is what the pumptrack is for. Just getting a little off the ramp, the riders gain speed by pushing down the rear wheel while rushing through the course. Again, like Dual Speed and Style, it was a head-to-head contest on two tracks. But this time they were identical in length and it was all about time, so each rider had just one shot in beating the other in the pairing. With 32 riders competing in men’s and 8 riders in women’s category, the field was narrowed down to the finals in 20 heats. In the nail-biting finale of female riders Caroline Buchanan beat Jill Kintner by just 0.03 seconds!
Double Contest Saturday: Slopestyle & Downhill
Since the bad weather forecast for Sunday, the Crankworx crew decided to move slopestyle and downhill to the same day, not to risk the well-being of the riders due to wind and thunderstorms.
Starting off with slopestyle at 12:00 pm, the Bikepark Innsbruck was crowded pretty fast. As in the last days the temperature climbed above the 30°C, but everyone was prepared bringing sunscreen, umbrellas and water. For those who weren’t prepared free caps were given out, but just if you seem to be the loudest one cheering.
The crowd was heated up by gifts and the slopestyle contest began. After the qualifying the queue of 16 riders was set. Best comes last. Each had two runs on the course with big drops, step ups and of course big jumps. The bikers get points for every trick they do, the best of the two runs counts.
Especially in this contest, the riders have a deep grab in their bag of tricks. It’s all about style, so time does not matter. During the runs, the entertainment for the crowd never ended. From exploding rear tires do twisted handlebars everything was in there. Lastly Nicholi Rogatkin, second in qualifying, scored 96 of 100 points in his last run. He even couldn’t believe himself what he just delivered. Brett Rheeder became second, scoring 95.66 points in the very last run of this contest. Tomas Lemoine, winner of the Dual Speed and Style contest two days before went third.
After the champagne showers of the slopestyle winners the crowd headed over to Nockspitzbahn Götzens using the free shuttle busses provided. The race was already in halfway, but still the spectators climbed the course despite the heat to get a close up view on the riders rushing by. As soon as a rider approached, you can already hear the croud cheering, whistling and bang away at old bike rims.
All in all, 210 (!) riders raised dust at the track that day, being split in the categories Pro Masters, Pro Youth U17 male and female, Pro Junior U19 male and female, as well as Elite Men an Women. In the end, Danny Hart beat Michael Hannah on the 3 minute track just by 0.25 seconds! Jack Moir raced third with just 1.03 seconds difference to Hart.
As for the girls, Tracey Hannah raced her way to gold, leaving the rest of the field more than 6 seconds behind. Second and third place was a tight run between Jill Kintner and Emilie Siegenthaler. Finally Kintner went 0.4 seconds faster than Siegenthaler.
With a last gift from the presenter, which was his own shirt, an amazing series of days packed with action, suspense, good vibes and maybe some sunburns came to an end. Being there was definitely worth it, especially when considering that the whole event was for free, even the shuttle from Innsbruck to the event-sites and return. At this point, we can only be excited about Crankworx Innsbruck 2018 !
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